Few Japanese dads take advantage of paternity leave, survey finds


To the knowledge of more than 40 percent of Japanese workers, no fathers at their workplaces had taken any child care leave, according to a Jiji Press opinion survey in June.

Among respondents with jobs, 31.5 percent, the largest share, said that paternal leave systems are in place at their workplace but that the atmosphere does not encourage the use of such leave.

They were followed by 27.2 percent who said there is no such supportive system at the workplace and 17.1 percent who said they do not have access to such a system as they are either self-employed or freelancers.

Those who said child care leave systems have been established at their workplace and they are easy to use for men accounted for 13.9 percent.

Asked about the length of paternity leave used by their colleagues, the biggest group of those who have such a leave system at their workplaces, at 42.3 percent, said no one to their knowledge has taken any leave.

According to the survey, 9.6 percent said their male colleagues took leave of between two and six days, followed by six months to one year at 8.5 percent and two to five months at 7.7 percent.

Those who cited paternity leave of longer than a year accounted for 2.4 percent, while 1.3 percent said their male colleagues took only one day off for child care.

Of all respondents, 39.8 percent said fathers do not need to take child care leave but should help their wives if they are needed.

They were followed by those who said fathers should prioritize work and help only when they have time, at 31.3 percent, and those who think that fathers should focus on work and leave child-rearing to their wives, at 4.1 percent.

The share of respondents who said fathers should participate in child-rearing to the same extent as their wives by taking child care leave or other means stood at only 20.6 percent.

The interview-based opinion poll was conducted between June 7-10 and covered 2,000 people aged 18 or older nationwide.

Of them, 62.8 percent gave valid responses.